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Twitter Hack Mastermind Arrested!

The mastermind behind the biggest security breach on a social media website Twitter has been purportedly arrested in his apartment, by the U.S Police force, on July 31st.

The massive bitcoin scam, on one of the most prolific social media platforms Twitter, took place on July 15. The incident successfully breached high-profile verified and non-verified Twitter accounts in a coordinated attack that captured the accounts of President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Apple, and many more. 

Reported by an English news outlet, the verge, a 17-year-old teen Graham Clark (Kirk#5270) of Tampa, Florida, is under arrest by the FBI, IRS, US Secret Service, and Florida law enforcement on early July 31. There are two more accused who have been charged for the misconduct.

Graham Clark, Mastermind in Twitter Hack!
Source: WFLA Website, Graham Clark (Hillsborough County Jail photo)

At present, Clark is in jail on charges of scamming people in America. Allegedly, his first appearance would be on Aug 1st. The prosecution would take place in Florida “so he can be charged as an adult” as there is no federal charge against him being a juvenile.

“He’s accused of being the “mastermind” behind the biggest security and privacy breach in Twitter’s history, one that took over the prominent accounts for [SIC] a huge bitcoin scam on July 15th.”

Citing the information from the Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, the publication mentioned Clark is filed with charges on over 30 felony counts, including organized fraud, communications fraud, identity theft, and hacking.” In a news conference via PSCP, Warren mentioned in brief. Reportedly, theverge, got the information through the Local NBC affiliate WFLA.

Twitter Hack Comprises Two More Defrauders 

After Clark’s (Kirk#5270) arrest, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested two more suspects who are supposed to be the middlemen and helped Clark who allegedly used the twitter handle @Kirk#5270 for the scam.

A 22-year-old Nima Fazeli (Rolex) in Orlando and 19-year-old Mason John Sheppard (Chaewon) in the UK. The United States Department of Justice, Northern District of California mentioned in a press release on July 31.

DOJ press release stated,

Sheppard is being charged under a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California. He will face a 20-years sentence in prison and a $250,000 fine in the U.S. on charges with “conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the intentional access of a protected computer” including identity theft.

Nima Fazeli faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is also charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with “aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer” and money laundering.

Both Sheppard and Fezeli were caught due to the use of personal driver’s licenses while transferring the funds and verifying their identities on major cryptocurrency exchanges: Binance and Coinbase. Their accounts were discovered using the same scammed BTC.

Tampa Teen (Kirk#5270) is More Susceptible for Twitter Hack

An affidavit released on July 30, has an apparent doubt on the Tampa Teen, Clark who got the access of Twitter’s internal security devices with internal credentials after convincing Twitter employee (that worked in IT department) and carried out the massive Bitcoin scam that tapped many VIP accounts for the fraud.

Tampa or his entire team hacked into Twitter VIP accounts and sent solicitation tweets on the platform with a false promise to victims on doubling the bitcoin deposits made to the scam accounts.

According to DOJ,

“As alleged in the complaints, the scam bitcoin account received more than 400 transfers worth more than $100,000.” 

Earlier, Twitter mentioned in a blog post that a few employees were targeted through a “social engineering scheme” in a “phone spear phishing attack” that led to a bitcoin scam.

“In this context, social engineering is the intentional manipulation of people into performing certain actions and divulging confidential information.” 

On July 23, Twitter mentioned a total of 130 accounts have compromised in the coordinated hack.

Source- Twitter

Sanjay Virmani, assistant special agent-in-charge, cyber branch, FBI San Francisco, on arrests, took place in Twitter cyber-attack said that investigations are still on the go and need a favor from the community to inform the law enforcement on finding any evidence related to the Twitter hack. People can contact FBI San Francisco, tips.fbi.gov, or call 415-553-7400.